Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Laughing Gas to Be Considered Hard Drug

If you're getting high off of laughing gas because you think it's legal in Russia, now's the time to stop. The drug will soon be considered a Class II psychotropic, joining cocaine and morphine, a deputy head of the Federal Drug Control Service said Thursday.

Nikolai Tsvetkov told Interfax that he "hoped" nitrous oxide, in a concentration above 90 percent, would be considered a "narcotic" within the "coming weeks."

If you sell nitrous oxide-filled balloons to your friends without a license, you could face up to a decade in prison under Penal Code Article 238, according to a Federal Consumer Protection Service statement Wednesday.

Unauthorized sale of the drug is currently considered a misdemeanor.

Police picked up a man last month for selling laughing gas outside a sports complex in Tambov, some 500 kilometers southeast of Moscow, the drug control service said in a statement.

"Recently, authorities have been receiving complaints of young people being poisoned with so-called 'happy gas,'" the statement said.

Nitrous oxide, when inhaled in small concentrations, creates a mild euphoria. It is used for medical purposes as an anesthetic.

But, the drug control service warned, if concentrations are acute, laughing gas can cause "temporary amnesia, emotional instability, gradual atrophy of the brain and spinal cord … and even death."

Related articles:

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more